Use of heavy-ion accelerators for testing microelectronic components for space radiation effects
88-inch Cyclotron, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Result of NP research:
Application currently being supported by:
DOD (US Air Force, NRO)
Impact/benefit to spin-off field:
This work is important for commercial and national security satellites, spacecraft and even the newest Martian rovers.
In space, an energetic cosmic ray passing through a electronic component can cause a 'single-event effect' that damages the component or the system of which it is part. These can be simulated with beams from heavy-ion accelerators such as tandems or cyclotrons. At the 88-Inch Cyclotron Berkeley Accelerator Space Effects (BASE) facility, the unique combination of a cyclotron and ECR ion sources allows the use of mixtures of beams called “cocktails”. Developed for the calibration of detectors for nuclear science, these beams allow efficient testing of the microelectronics over a wide range of intensity and linear energy transfer.